Short-term intestinal ischemia-reperfusion alters intestinal motility that can be preserved by xanthine oxidase inhibition

Dig Dis Sci. 2002 Jun;47(6):1279-83. doi: 10.1023/a:1015314312730.


While the effects of transient intestinal ischemia on mucosa have been well investigated, less is known about its effect on motor function. An experimental study was designed to investigate the effects of ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) on intestinal motility and intestinal muscular microcirculation. Wistar albino rats were divided into four groups: (1) baseline, (2) sham operation, (3) I/R, and (4) I/R with allopurinol pretreatment. Ischemia was induced by clamping the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) for 10 min. Gastroanal transit time (GATT) was measured with serial x-rays after instillation of barium sulfate to the stomach. Intestinal muscular microcirculation was evaluated by determining the number of carbon-perfused intestinal muscular microvessels (CPIMM). I/R prolonged GATT and decreased CPIMM significantly (P < 0.01). Pretreatment with allopurinol prevented prolongation of GATT and returned the number of CPIMM to the level of sham treatment (P < 0.01). In conclusion, reperfusion after 10 min of SMA ischemia alters intestinal motility. The no-reflow phenomenon plays an important role in this alteration of motility. Administration of allopurinol before reperfusion preserves intestinal motility by preventing the occurrence of no-reflow phenomenon.

MeSH terms

  • Allopurinol / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Motility* / drug effects
  • Microcirculation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology*


  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Allopurinol